Floral Arranging

Hitomi Workshop!!

Yesterday, during a nasty wind storm, I took the Bainbridge Island ferry and headed across the water for a workshop in Kent. The wholesale floral distributor, DWF, hosted a workshop presented by HITOMI!!! She is world renown for her unique, creative floral work. The picture on the right is a very stylized version of bridal  bouquet. It isn’t for everyone, but it is unique and exquisitely beautiful in it’s simplicity. Hitomi presents her ideas and expects florists to take it from there and expand the idea into more and more ideas. She is a phenomenon of energy.

The second photo is also a bridal bouquet, but one for very few people. The idea behind it is this. Choose a plant you like, remove the dirt from around the root ball. Build the bridal bouquet at the top of the plant. After the wedding, the newly married couple can plant the plant and grow it as their marriage grows! A true wedding keepsake!!

In this third picture you are viewing the design from the top. It is quite unusual but gives the table an open, airy quality quite different from the heavy arrangements we are all used to at receptions dinners. One can easily see through to the other side and still enjoy the flowers. These lilies are very expensive, but other flowers can be used just as well.


Valentine’s Day orders

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Valentine’s Day is almost here. Get your orders in NOW. Call your florist NOW!!! Why? Because flowers go fast. After Wednesday, it is almost impossible to get the roses you want. The growers have cut all their roses and sent them out.

Do NOT use a wire service.  Why? Because they take up to 20% off the top, before the florist gets your order. Valentine’s Day flowers are more expensive because of the demand. The price goes up astronomically.

Use your computer to find a florist in the area you want the flowers to go to, and call the florist directly!!! There are many different styles. If you want something specific, make sure to tell the person you are ordering from. Florists who are experiencing heavy order loads will only do several styles and you have no choice. They are mass producing the arrangements as fast as they can. Delivery can be a problem if the florist doesn’t deliver on Sundays.

I am fortunate in that I can handle the orders I receive. This means my clients can specify the style they want, the flowers they want. And I deliver on Sunday!! Every florist is different. They do the best they can with what they know and what they have. Be patient and understanding of them. It is the busiest time of year for florists!

Enjoy the day! It is so much fun and flowers really make a difference.


It is extremely important to keep fresh flowers on hand at all times. Florists need to be aware of the shelf life of their flowers, and replace them with fresh stock in a timely manner.

When new stock comes in it should be rehydrated immediately. A species could have been out of water anywhere from one day to one week! Those stem cells need to be reopened by giving them a fresh cut and placed in a solution that will open the cells and kill bacteria.

After the cells have had a chance to reopen (the cells of a rose close within 5 seconds of being in the air!!), the flowers should be placed in fertilizer and then into a cooler.  These steps help the flowers last a lot longer.

After an arrangement has been made it should be sprayed with a solution that helps the flowers retain their moisture. This solution allows the flowers to continue breathing, but they won’t loose as much water through transpiration.

Ask your florist if their shop follows these procedures. The industry has done a lot of research concerning this and we should all be following these standards.  After all, you, the client, pay a lot of money for an arrangement and it should last as long as possible.  There is no excuse for the recipient to receive flowers that die with in a day!!


Home Grown Flowers


All summer long flowers are gloriously growing in our gardens (). Whether they are growing in containers on an apartment/condo deck or on 10 acres, their presence makes us happy! Best of all is cutting them and bringing them into our homes. But there is one problem. The lasting quality.

What can be done about the flowers that immediately begin to droop an hour after being put into the appropriate water container? First off, take a deep breath. In today’s world, most people are so stressed that the following scenario is the usual.

You are sipping your morning cup of joe or tea, looking out your kitchen window and suddenly realize how beautiful the flowers are in the back yard. For 10 seconds you enjoy them. Then the buzzer sounds behind you and you dash madly about the kitchen getting breakfast ready for the family. At one point, as you are setting the table, a niggling thought hits you: gosh, it would be nice to have some of those flowers on the table this morning.

You make a point to go out into the garden after the dishes are done to pick flowers.  You cut them, filling your hand with a stunning bouquet. You only have 10 minutes before you have to dash off somewhere so you run into the house, pour water in your vase, stick the flowers in and run off for the day.

When you come home, you go in the kitchen and the first thing you see are the flowers on the table, all drooping.  After all that hurry, trying to make things pretty, and now you have to throw them out! #*%@&*#

Well, there is the problem. Now for the solution. The cells in the flower stems close almost immediately after being cut. Rose cells close within 5 seconds! Once they close, that’s it. No water is going to go up those stems. The flowers will droop and die.  What to do? Bring your flowers inside. Fill your container with water, add fertilizer. Then recut the stems of your flowers and quickly put them in the water.

For woody stems do not crush them. Why? Well, what do you think? You just crushed all the cells. How can they possibly take up water????? Instead, take a small knife, whittle off the top layer of bark,  give the stem a fresh cut, and put it in water. Perfect! You are good to go. And so are your flowers!!

P.S. This is the website you find out how to take care of your garden better.


It was an incredible Mothers’ Day!!!!!

Many, many thanks to all of you who called Pipper’s Flowers and placed order for flowers for your moms.  Each arrangement was individually done, but, surprisingly, most people wanted garden designs! Here are a few of the ones we sent out.


Mothers’ Day is almost here!!!

Most people, when they think about this holiday, think: “Oh, I need to order flowers for Mom,” and let it go at that.  It’s taken me a long time, but I finally started to think, really think, about what it means to be a mom. It is a huge responsibility. Probably the biggest responsibility a woman will ever have if she decides to carry that baby to term. You hold the building of that life in your hands for many years. You will be forming that personality, how that child thinks, acts and feels about all of life. If you are a mom, you are building a culture, history. It all starts with you. And you deserve to be respected and helped in this endeaver by everyone, because all of us are involved. It starts with the child! And mom.


A Christmas Gift that keeps on giving!

I deliver flowers to a lot of elderly people, many of whom live alone, have health problems or can’t afford much. When they open their door and see the flowers, the expression on their faces is priceless. they are so happy! Someone thought about them! Someone wanted to make their day a little brighter.

If you are one of the grown children of one of these folks or have a special relative or friend, here’s an idea for a Christmas present that keeps on giving for as long as you want. Send a bouquet once a month or twice a month or (heaven forbid!) every week! You will make a lonely, elderly person very, very, happy!

Give me a call at 206) 780-4242 and let’s talk about it!


Christmas is coming!!!!

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It’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. TV advertisers are already out there with        Christmas promotions. So I’m joining in! On my website under “Special Occasions” and “Events” is a  partial price list for foundation  building things like wreaths, garlands, pine cones, etc.  There is so  much available to decorate with for any holiday occasion using any color scheme. Just give Pipper a  call (206-780-4242). We can work with any budget, do it yourself or have Pipper do it for you. It’s time  to put all the negative energy aside and think HAPPY THOUGHTS!!!


COLOR!!!! what do you see?

When you think the color PURPLE, what color do you see? It seems to be the color a number of brides are choosing this year and next. But there is a wee bit of a problem here. When a bride chooses a color for her wedding, she tends to use words like periwinkle or peach or taupe or… well, you get the idea. These adjectives just don’t do the job. Mostly because every person sees a different color when they hear one of these words.

When I meet with a bride I pull out the color wheel, either physically or verbally or both! Take the word purple. Do you see a blue purple or a red purple? Have I lost you yet? Take a look at the roses pictured here. The roses on the left are red purple. The rose on the right is a blue purple. There is a huge difference here.

One bride I worked with was adamant about using only the blue purple. It is not hard to come up with flowers in this color spectrum – until you start looking for roses. Especially deep purple roses.  For all intents and purposes, there are no deep purple roses on the wholesale market.  What did we do? The bride opted for a deep purple floral spray.  It worked!!

Another bride went with the red purple. No problems here. Thank goodness!! So rethink how you talk about color, ladies. Use color terms rather than adjectives that describe objects, not colors.

Periwinkle? Do you mean light blue or dark blue?

Peach? Uh, a pink orange or a red orange? Pastel or full color?

Mint? Dark green or light green?

You get the idea.  Make sure when you consult with your florist/party planner you bring color examples with you. A great way to go is to go to the hardware store and pick up paint samples in the exact colors you like. It will work magic for you! Good luck!


Summer time and the living is easy…

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Happy Summer everyone! As long as it doesn’t get too hot I’m a happy camper. When flowers come in from the wholesalers the first thing that happens is that they  are rehydrated. They sit in this solution for several hours. In hot weather the roses start to pop. Thank goodness deliveries usually come in the early morning! Then into fertilizer they go and into the cooler. Whew!

This year has been the best ever, many thanks to all of you! The best part of being a florist is delivering to the client and seeing their faces when they answer the door. Seeing that big smile says it all. When you order flowers you are making many people happy! The longer the flowers last, the longer there are happy people. Ripples in a pond…

Keep in mind that many florists accept vases that have been pre-used. I do. They get washed, sterilized, and used again. An environmentally sound idea. I also check around in antique stores for vases. I refuse to pay over a certain amount because I don’t want to pass the cost on to the consumer. But some of these vases are priceless when flowers are placed in them.

And don’t forget, many of our growers are certified organic! Yes, the industry is really trying to make our world a better place in as many ways as we can think of.


Order now for Mothers’ Day!!!!

Your mother is probably one of the most important people in your life. She knows you better than anyone else, and, she’s known you longer than anyone else has. There have been many times you’ve wished she wasn’t your mom, but, face it, she probably has felt the same way about you. What it all comes down to is FAMILY! And mom is the head of the family no matter what dad thinks! So show her how much you love and respect her.

Send her flowers designed especially for her. Does she prefer a traditional lifestyle or is she more contemporary, living with contemporary furnishings? Does she love to garden? Does she love to travel? What are her hobbies, her profession? We can create an arrangement to suit her personality!

Additionally, at Pipper’s Flowers, our message cards are the usual size message card, but they are 100% rag watercolor paper with an accompanying envelope. Pipper does a small water color on one side which can be cut out and placed in one of those wonderfully small frames as a keepsake.

Keep in mind, the Bon Bon here on Bainbridge is a wonderful candy store with the best home made fudge and imported chocolates, including truffles hand made by local confectioners. You can’t go wrong by including a small box of chocolates for Mom!!!

Place your order as soon as possible, before the last minute rush! If you have something special in mind you would like us to do for your mom, just let us know. We are here to serve you and make your mother’s day extra special!


Order your Valentine NOW!!!

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Valentine’s Day is almost here. For florists it’s especially fun because we can be so creative. Suppliers have all kinds of hard goods that can be incorporated with flowers to really make a statement. Gone are the traditional arrangements of roses and baby’s breath. You can do so much more!! And still keep the cost down. Granted, something like the heart in the picture below costs a little more, but WOW! It’s much more fun to get. And will last a long time if the roses have been properly rehydrated, fertilized and cooled by the florist. When you call your florist try to be specific. Do you want a contemporary design, traditional, exotic, garden style… Think outside the box! And yes, florists are very busy and may not have time to do something special. But it never hurts to try. Just be prepared to spend a little more…


BRIDES! 2014 is here….

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And it should be an exciting year. Especially since this is the year of your wedding. Are you  beginning to feel the pressure from all the decisions that need to be made?  The key to reducing this anxiety is: be organized. Ask for help and advice. Remember, in the end, it is YOUR day, YOUR wedding. This special day will only happen once.

TRENDS:  colors: pink (from very very pale – blush – into more intense fuchsia, orchid, plum), black and white color blocking and prints

dresses: off the shoulder necklines, cap sleeves, illusion neckline, plunging back

hair:  up

accessories: gold (in gowns as well, delicate beading

make up: soft browns, soft metallic, berry, bronze (everything natural) and berry lips

late night food: miniature versions of your favorite foods, huge dessert bar, expresso bar

chandeliers made of mason jars! and wooden farm tables

Save money by celebrating on Friday. Be  bold, bright colors, larger than life. Remember, you need to decide on a budget! When you meet with any professional, whether its the caterer, cake baker, or florist they need to know what you can afford in order to guide you on the right path to achieve your dream and still be what you can afford.

BOTTOM LINE: Do what YOU want. If you like hot yellow, then go with it! If you’re into cowboy boots, wear them. If you don’t want to serve alcohol, don’t. It is YOUR special day. DO IT YOUR WAY!!!


Almost Christmas!!!!

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Before you know it, you will be decorating for Christmas! How do you like the photo shown here? The beauty of this design is it’s longevity. Almost everything here is artificial. Can you believe that? Even up close it doesn’t come across as “artificial”! The greenery is fresh Douglas fir and the poofs of white are carnations. Carnations? You don’t like carnations???? The wonderful thing about carns is their longevity. The form itself is very old rose like. Using a carn you get more bang for your buck! The rest is artificial. There are white poinsettias that sparkle, two kinds of red berry, and a branch of heavy crystals which work in beautifully.  The vase is a plain glass vase covered in red ribbon with lines of crystals adhering to the surface. It really is stunning when seen up close. Everyone who has seen it gasps and goes “Wow!” That’s the response you’re looking for!


A design NOT to buy!

It is imperative for any creative person to keep abreast of what the rest of the world is doing. One thing people seem to be enamored with at the moment is the fad using only one kind of flower in an arrangement. A vase of long stemmed calla lilies all leaning heavily off to the side of a tall vase. A container jammed full of roses.  You get the idea. But it is a boring idea. You see one you’ve seen them all. It takes no sense of design, no expertise to do this. Anyone can stick a mass of flowers of one kind in a  vase. I know this line of thinking is anathema to some, but I won’t apologize. If a client is going to spend hard earned money to have a professional florist make an arrangement for him or her, it should be worth it!

Any art school, including floral schools, teach basic design principles. Many scoff at this saying, “Oh I don’t need to know this. I just want to be free to be creative!” This attitude is why so many young artists never make it in this world. The reason the masters are still with us today is because they “mastered” the basic design principles. Picaso is the premier example of this.

What are these principles? There are many. To name a few: line, texture, color, balance. The list  goes on and on. When a professional is asked to do a design for a client these principles should be so firmly imbedded in their minds that when they start a design they can be creative. Very creative, if allowed to do so by the client.

So what is the point of all this besides a wake up call for professionals? You, as the client, should know you are getting your money’s worth. It doesn’t make any difference whether you are spending $20 or $2000 for flowers. You should be given the best based on the knowledge of your designer. So don’t hesitate to ask questions when you call to place an order. Tell the designer what style you want to send to the recipient, what colors you would like. Ask the designer if they are comfortable being creative or will they do a standard design shown by wire service catalogues. Ask questions and you may be lucky enough to get what you paid for!

The picture included here shows a simple design, but a very pleasing one. What style is it? A combination of Ikebana, contemporary and garden. Yes. It can be done.  Just ask.


Have a wonderful summer!!!

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Good morning! It has been awhile since I posted on this blog. I always check the Facebook pages, but this post is more informative.  The picture on the left is a design I did for a small event. It is so much fun to do weddings and events. The arrangements can be bigger but not necessarily more creative! Some of the smallest designs can be the most artful. We have had a wonderful summer. The temperatures have been mild with some overcast. Weddings have gone very well.

Many people are doing their own flowers for special events (like weddings). I am always happy to see how beautifully arranged many of these flowers are done. The only problem I see is the longevity of the flowers. Most retailers (like grocery stores or places like Costco or Wallmart) don’t have the expertise to handle flowers properly. When you buy from these sources you should realize the flowers haven’t been rehydrated. What does this mean? It means that the cells in the stems have closed or are clogged with debris and bacteria. Therefore, the flowers will only last a few days. When you buy from these sources, always give your flower stems a fresh cut about an inch to 3 inches above the previous cut. Then immediately put them in water. If you can get your hands on rehydrating solution, use it now. Remember, cells close quickly. Rose cells close within 5 seconds!!!

That’s just for starters. After rehydration, I always place the flowers in clean water with fertilizer. If at all possible, they are placed in the cooler. This helps slow down the growth process (yes, the flowers are still growing! Tulips will grow up to 6 more inches!!!). After arranging flowers I always spray the designs with a solution that helps them retain their moisture.

Another thing to remember concerns the use of Oasis. I use it quite a bit. The recipient of the flowers should be aware that there isn’t much room for water. Don’t allow Oasis to dry out. It will not reabsorb water once it dries. I tell my people check the container by hooking a finger over the edge. Bring that water line up! Pour water with the fertilizer in the packets you get right into the  center of the arrangement. Your flowers should last at the very least for a week. Mine usually last close to 3 weeks. You pay a lot for fresh flowers. They should last!

Happy Summer!!! Pipper


Be happy!

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Be happy! We are constantly barraged with negative news from all fronts. Whether you read the newspapers, news magazines, watch the news on TV, TV commentators, the internet, or any other source, you can be dragged down by it all. Everyone will tell you, “Focus on the positive!” Easier said then done.

How can you challenge this? Start with anything close to you, where you sit, at home or at work. Place a favorite object near you. Move the furniture around. Pick up all the MESS. Cleaning up your environment can be a lot of work, but by the time you finish, stand back and take a look. It was worth the effort! Spray an air deodorizer. Add a bud vase with a flower that makes you smile.  A bud vase doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!

Throw out all the things you never use. Take it to the dump. If it’s in good condition and clean, take it to the Salvation Army. But get rid of all the superfluous STUFF! Clean out the refrigerator. Change your sheets. Put on clean socks! Wash your hair. Shave. Put a little something in your pocket that only you know is there. Are you getting the idea yet?

I know there are those of you who think it’s cool to wear your pants down around your knees, allow your beard to grow out to stubbs, wear clothing that looks like its been in a dumpster for several months. Believe me, if you clean yourself up, clean up your immediate environment, you will suddenly look at the world from a far different perspective!  (P.S.  Girls get rug burn from all that stubble. THAT’S not cool!!)

And don’t forget the flowers.  You can’t help but smile if you see a colorful bouquet. In Seattle we have Pike Place Market. The f lower vendors there are fabulous. You can buy a wonderful, stunningly beautiful bouquet for under $10!!! If you can afford to support your local florist, that would be super! Retail florists have been closing their doors at an incredible rate. It’s a huge loss to everyone.

We all have sad, depressing things that have happened to us. In my life, I find I’m very fortunate to be able to give flowers to so many people. When I deliver flowers to someone, their smile is all I need to make my day.  If things are slow, as they have been lately, I’m even more lucky to have my two grandchildren who live nearby. I see them just about every day. One is 5, the other is 2 1/2 years old. They never fail to make me smile and make my whole day brighter.

Find what makes your heart sing. It doesn’t have to cost a thing. But do the things that make you truly happy. And don’t forget the FLOWERS!!


Remember Mom!!!!!

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At  Pipper’s Flowers we process the flowers so that they will last as long as possible. People have mentioned repeatedly that their arrangements have lasted as long as a month in some cases depending on the species of flower.

Not only that, but each arrangement is individualized to suit the recipient. Traditional? Contemporary? Natural (which includes garden style)? Exotic? If you check the web site you will see arrangements for each of these categories. When you call to place an order you are asked about color, scent, species… We want YOUR input! Tell us what you want or do not want!

Best of all, our message cards are the same size as the industry cards, but they are done on individual Fabriano water color paper with a small original water color of a flower on it. The message is written next to the water color, placed in a matching Fabriano envelope and placed with the arrangement.

When you talk to your mom, let her know she can cut out this original water color and place it in one of those tiny frames as a keepsake! How special is that!!!?

And don’t forget the handmade fudge and chocolates from our local BonBon candy store. Lisa, the owner, is a wonderful lady, starting her store because she has always loved to make fudge.  The varieties are endless. All the truffles and other chocolates are first class yummies hand made by local people. She also has all kinds of imported chocolate, and candies from childhood! You can’t go wrong here!

So, give Pipper a call, 206) 780-4242.

Happy Mom’s Day!

Pip


Order now for Mother’s Day!

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And the flowers are delightfully wonderful! There is no better way to tell Mom how much you love her than by surprising her with a beautiful spring bouquet. If you place your order before the end of the month you will receive a discount. And you might want to consider a gift of superb, melt in your mouth, chocolates or fudge hand made from our local chocolatier, Bon Bon. The added cost is nominal and well worth the look on your Mom’s face when she sees it all.

Clients will call and say they love #4 on the Everyday slide show. They will ask how much it is.  My policy is this: I can do any bouquet in any price range. Whatever you feel comfortable spending! I never do the same arrangement twice, but I will do something comparable to what you see on the slide show. Bottom line: Whatever YOU can afford!!!

How can I do  this? I have no employees, no overhead. Therefore, everything goes into the flowers. Depending on your budget, I choose flowers that will work for you! Not only will it make the recipient of the flowers happy, but the goal is to make YOU happy too!!

These pictures depict fairly traditional arrangements. Keep watching here or on Facebook for contemporary, exotic and natural designs!

Don’t forget! Order NOW!  206) 780- 4242.


Into the future for brides!

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Here is a design that has become a current favorite with brides who want something different. For the most part a variety of decorative wires have been used, but flowers have been glued in place to give it a more natural appearance.  It’s lots of fun to make!

Designs like this can be made in so many many ways. That’s the wonderful thing about floristry. We can do almost anything and we will certainly TRY to do anything you can imagine! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

This design isn’t for everyone, but the bride who utilizes this technique will certainly be  the talk of the town! The table arrangements can be made to echo this kind of work.

The thing for any bride to keep in mind is that if you have a vision, your florist should be able to help you define and refine that vision with flowers! Wedding planners are here to do the same thing. People that you hire to help you with your wedding should always have your vision in mind and follow through to make your dream into reality. Your wedding is a one of a kind day, one that is extremely special to you and your husband to be. Pictures will be taken that will follow you down through the years to come.  You want to be able to look at these pictures and remember this day with happy tears in your eyes and love and laughter!

Don’t forget to check out my facebook page for more pictures! Have a wonderful wedding! Pipper


Jump into spring!


Spring is here! It’s always an exciting time of year. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, and many more flowers start to pop up. Buds on the trees and bushes are bursting and flowering trees make an ethereal cloud of wonder everywhere you look. Days are longer, birds are nest building, and yes. It is still raining here in my part of the world. (I love the rain!)

The picture on the left is an example of a chocolate and pink every day arrangement. Note the bottom center flower. Believe it or not, that is one of the brown sunflowers with the petals removed! These kinds of treatments are used in bridal bouquets as well. There are so many new techniques popping up. It’s all very exciting.

There is also new floral material becoming available to florists in the Seattle area.  One of our wholesalers is now importing some magical stuff from New Zealand and Australia.  There is no excuse for a boring arrangement – ever!

I love the color pastel orange. That’s a dab of orange and lots of white added. People use these names to describe the color: peach, salmon, coral, light orange…well, you get the picture. When a client describes a color to the florist, using one of these adjectives, you never know what you’ll get.  For instance, coral could mean a light orange or a dark orange. It really helps to be very specific in describing a color, using COLOR TERMINOLOGY. i.e, the flower is yellow/ green. or red, red orange. or yellow with lots of white added. Then there can be less room for error.

The industry has come out with a new tool that some florists are finding available. I just got one. It is a packet of color swatches. Ho hum, you say? Well, it works like this. The bride looks through the colors, chooses the ones that come closest to her dresses and table decor. Then the florist calls her wholesaler tells her agent, ” I want flowers in the following color numbers.”  Now everyone is on the same page! Simply wonderful!!!

Bear with me please! My Web Master, who is an absolute marvel, is busily redoing the site. Under the wedding header there will be two new drops. Bouquets and Receptions/Events! It is just a start. Eventually I hope to have the pictures arranged according to event, popping up all together. One step at a time! Let me know what you think!

Have a great spring! Pipper


Seattle Flower and Garden Show Design Competition

Much Ado About Nothing by Pipper's

The Seattle Flower and Garden Show Design Competition is over. PHEW!!! But it was very educational, to say the least. The best thing to come out of it so far is an email I just received from a photographer for Floral Design Magazine. One of the pictures he took  of my work is on the left  and my design may be used! Before we go any further, I am going to go into the pros and cons of this competition. You may or may not want to read further!

First, let me say that I have done a good deal of judging in the world of art. The some of the criteria, across the board, is or should be, the following: creativity shown, use of technique, composition, use of materials. (That’s just for starters.) I won’t bore you with more.

Now then, there were designs at this competition that were truly exceptionally well done. The use of floral technique was of a high quality as was the creativity and composition, not to mention use of floral material! One in particular that stood out was “Pearl Harbor”. It should have received lst place and didn’t get any attention at all. I was totally disappointed in that judging call. The design to get first place was an Ikebana work of very high quality. The designer had taken grasses and made fascinating thick, organic shapes with it. She deserved an award.

Second place was given to a design which was well executed. It was a formal event design with a red rose covered floral ball placed on top of a stand of white calla lilies. The base was a box containing a pave of roses. Because of the lack of creativity and standard industry techniques it should not have received an award.

So much for my comments on the judging. On to the set up. (Oh boy, am I going to get in hot water for all of this!!)  I haven’t been to the show in 6 0r 7 years. When I did go, the design competition, even the bonsai from the Seattle bonsai clubs, were always set up with a blank wall as a back drop. Look at the picture included  here. What do you see? I will explain. The back ground is a bank of huge windows behind which is a lovely outdoor garden mazed with concrete walls of varying heights. The sun streams in through these windows all day long because they are South facing. Any cut flower receiving this much heat and light won’t last a day. Need I say more? But, of course, I will. A viewer, standing before a design, is hit in the face with the sun. When your eyes adjust, you have to decide where the design is. Out in the garden? No, it’s this dark shape in front of you…. Color is lost in this situation.

Lastly, the bank of windows zigzagged. It wasn’t a straight flat wall of windows. There were 19 designers. Each zig had approximately 4 to 5 designs set up on pedestals. Some of the designs were huge and ran into other designs, leaving no room or very little room in between.  All the designs faced out into the main entrance area where the crowd would see them. But the last 3 designers were on the tail of the zag facing away from everything. Not only that, but a huge black  movie screen had been set up and this little area behind the screen where the last designer works were set up was chock full of electrical wiring as big as snakes and feet thick going every where. This is not good. These are professional designers we are talking about. They deserve a professional presentation of their work.

I know I sound like a wet blank (to use nice terms) but these are ideas that should be considered by not only the show presenters, but viewers as well. And one last comment. Many competitors at any competition would feel very uncomfortable voicing an opinion, as I have. This happens for any number of reason, some of which are good and some which may not be.         Just remember, if YOU, as an individual, see a wrong being committed, think of a way to make that wrong right. Too many people look the other way when they should step forward, when they could actually do a lot of good. Just try not to hurt another by your actions.  Pipper


I know it’s early, but….Happy Valentin’s Day!!!!

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It’s never too soon to think about flowers for Valentine’s Day! Already, florists are placing orders with wholesalers in anticipation of the busiest time of the year. By the time February rolls around, it’s hard to get the flowers you may want. That’s how fast they go. The demand is tremendous and growers have a hard time keeping up. If a florist runs out of a particular flower a few days before VDay it may be almost impossible to replace them – think red roses. They’ll be gone!

As a full service florist, available 24/7 I take orders up to the last minute, but it may be hard to come up with a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day! So think ahead folks. If you place your order with Pipper’s Flowers in January, you’ll be sure to get a discount! Flower prices go up closer to the day too. Roses ordered from the wholesaler the first of January cost a lot less than flowers purchased the week before. Buyer beware! The early bird… You get the idea!

Heart designs take a lot of flowers to make. This one is using red roses. There are at least two dozen red roses here. Ordered in January, this design might cost $105. But ordered just before Valentine’s Day you might be looking at $150! That’s a big difference! You might want to allow the designer to do something creative for you instead of the usual red roses. The person who receives the flowers would be happy with red roses, but if you really want to make an impression there are all kinds of wonderful designs that can be created, using other colors that still invoke the idea you want to get across.

And if your pocket book is a wee bit thin this year, don’t worry. We can do a wonderfully delightful design for any price. It’s what you are comfortable spending that is of primary importance when you place your order. I’ve done designs for as little as $5, but feel free to spend whatever you are comfortable spending. Remember, the flowers are fresh from the grower to the wholesaler to me. After I receive the flowers they are rehydrated, then placed in a solution with fertilizer, and placed in the cooler. These steps insure your flowers will last a long time. After they are used in a design they are sprayed with a solution to help them retain their moisture. Clents have had flowers last up to three weeks and longer isn’t unusual. You pay a lot for your flowers. They should last a long time!

Don’t forget! Chocolates are the best part of Valentine’s Day, after the flowers of course. A local chocolatier makes the best fudge you’ve ever tasted in many many flavors. She always has special ones developed for special occasions. I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with for VDay! But there isn’t just fudge. There are all kinds of locally made chocolates as well as the very best imported chocolates. The store also carries all the old fashioned candies from, oh, the mid 50′s…. on. Wonderful stuff!

So when you place your order, think chocolates, or a stuffed animal, or a special gift basket, or anything else you can come up with. It is my pleasure to serve you and make your Valentine the happiest person around!! Just call 206 – 780 – 4242!

Hope to hear from you soon, Pipper.


‘TIS THE END OF 2012…

This has been an unusual year. I’m at a loss for a proper adjective to describe, in one word, this strange year. As Americans we have experienced the gamut of emotions. Retribution (Bin Laudin). Fear (the presidential election). Anger (the gross amount of spending on the election). Elation (an intelligent, thoughtful man reelected to the White House). Deepest sadness (over the unnecessary loss of children’s lives). And, in the end, thankfulness for family and friends who gather ’round in love and support.

We are an extremely fortunate people, yet we have so far to go. The Dahli Lama sees hope for the future. A good sign.

Most of all, I am thankful for all the wonderful people who have called this year, asking for flowers to be sent to someone here on the Island. Not only do I have a life long love for nature, and flowers especially, but seeing the surprise and happiness on peoples’ faces, when  the flowers are delivered is something very, very special.

I’ve had a young girl ask me to make an arrangement for her mom. The young lady only had $5 to spend. I think this was the most amazing gift to give and I was lucky enough to be part of it! I’ve done arrangements for every day, birthdays, sympathy, funerals, events and weddings. A contemporary (whom I dearly love) asked me to help her this summer putting together flowers for weddings. It was a slow time and this income helped pay my bills.

I had a gentleman ask me to send all black flowers in an arrangement to a golfing buddy. All BLACK!! So I sprayed them with floral spray and, yes, they were allll black! So much fun! Gift baskets, arrangments shaped like cakes on cake stands, cupcakes made of flowers. If you can think of it a florist can do it!! One wedding I did the bride forgot to tell me about the inclusion of an extra bride’s maid.  Minutes before the ceremony, I was able to put together a bouquet for the walk down the aisle!  Whew!

I am thankful for my family. Life would be very dreary without their love and support. My two grandchildren (4 and 2 years of age) make me smile and laugh every single day.

You never know what will happen next. That’s life. Change is good. Even if we dislike it at first. There is always a reason behind the change. It always works out. And this has become our family mantra: IT AWAYS WORKS OUT.  NO MATTER WHAT!

So take heart. Work your way through any sadness and be prepared, because happiness is sure to follow. It always does. May all of you enjoy happiness in the coming new year.